Well it certainly has been a long time since I posted an update, and I really apologize for that. There is much to tell, so if you up for my tales, grab yourself some refreshment and make yourself comfortable. I’ll wait right here until you get back.
Are you back? OK… Here basically are the top three things worth noting lately:
First work: Let’s go back to about December 16th. December 16th was my last scheduled day at my temporary job. I knew it was coming. It is only possible to be a casual in a single federal government department for 90 working days in a calendar year and as it turns out December 16th was day 90. So, the time was both unfortunate and fortuitous… unfortunate because it is so close to Christmas and it really stinks to have no income at Christmas… and fortuitous because the new calendar year is right around the corner and I have been invited back January 4th to finish up my project (until March 31st). I’m deleriously happy about going back. And, technicially, if you are going to be taking a break, even an unpaid one, Christmas is probably a fairly good time to have some home-time.
And independence: Then my van died. Well, that is not entirely true… the motor starts and runs just fine. It initially just didn’t go in reverse so was stuck in my driveway. The transmission was clearly kaput. And Christmas is such a lovely time to have a big repair bill don’t you think? Initially I had sort of decided it was not of any urgency… I mean, on first glance a car didn’t seem that critical… I could walk to work when it starts again, and I live downtown. Unfortunately that line of thinking neglected to take into consideration the amount of driving I do with and for my children, and the fact that sometimes groceries weight alot, and my parents live a 45 minute drive away, and a whole lot of other things that have basically meant my independence has gone completely out the window. Relying on someone to drive me around truly stinks. I need a vehicle. So the mission began to get my beater fixed. And the following briefly outlines the comedy of errors that has transpired in the attempt to get me back in the driver’s seat:
- December 22nd, Husband sourced a used transmission from the salvage yard, and found a guy who could put it in the van, and can do so before Christmas.
- Salvage yard calls the next day and says they made a mistake and don’t actually have a transmission. They have sourced one in another province that will cost extra to get here the next day. If it isn’t here the next day, there will be no hope of getting van for Christmas. We opt to get the transmission from the other province, and the installer says he can still work within the timeline to get us our van by Christmas.
- We get a neighbour to help us get the van out of the driveway, but then the van decides it won’t go in drive either. As it is now December 23rd, we can’t get a tow truck until first thing the following morning.
- The next morning the tow truck comes and gets the van and delivers it to the installer. At the end of his very long lane. The van that doesn’t go forward or backward. Installer calls to say it took him too long to get the van to the shop, so now the van will be ready after Christmas.
- December 27th the installer calls to say the transmission they sent does NOT fit the van. Really. But he’ll call the salvage company first thing in the morning and ensure the exchange for the correct transmission happens as soon as possible.
- Installer calls the salvage company, who apparently have ordered the right part after all, but the wrong part was sent by the yard in the other province. And that yard wasn’t open until December 29th. I will now have my van by New Years. Maybe. At this point I’ve stopped counting on it and find myself wondering what the next road block will be.
And Christmas: Santa was wonderful this year and brought both of my girls one of their wishes as their big gift. Rainbow got a violin. And Dolittle got a digital camera. Theoretically. So Christmas morning rolls around and they awake at the unthinkable hour of 3:15am VERY excited that Santa had been here. Packages were stacked in a neat line, two by two. First the socks were emptied and opened and anticipation grew. The line of presents was next. Rainbow was clearly delighted that her #1 item (the violin) was here, even asking if it would still be here when she wakes up tomorrow. Then Dolittle rips the paper from hers. A digital camera kit… case, camera, memory card… all together in a big lovely box. Delighted, she asked her Daddy to help her get set up. She carried the box over and they start to open it… and… it’s empty. There is no camera in the box. Essentially, Santa brought my baby an empty box for Christmas. That may well be worse than a lump of coal, I think. I looked at her dear little face trying to be all positive in the face of what was clearly bitter disappointment, and I just wanted to be sick. And this was Friday with no stores open in the province until Monday.
So for days she’s asking when she’s getting her camera, and I’m wondering are they even going to believe me when I go into the store with an empty box and ask for money back??? I sent Husband over first thing Monday morning, and the answer is, yes, they did believe us. BUT, according to the snarky customer service lady, Santa apparently bought this kit in November and if Santa had wanted money back he should have bought it in December… AND as there are no longer any cameras in stock Santa will just have to use a store credit to pick something else out in the store. Husband came home and handed me the store credit. Apparently he needs to learn how to be a bit more assertive in the face of snark. I got on the phone, asked for the manager, and explained how this could not possibly resolve Santa’s issue with replacing the camera as they had none. Santa would obviously need the money back so that he could shop elsewhere. And the Manager told me he would authorize the refund, to come back in, and he would call Ms. Snark and ensure she was aware of the arrangement.
So I got the money back, went somewhere else, and we got Dolittle a cell phone instead. (While not exactly what I discussed with Store#1, it does take pictures so was really just a stretch of the truth). Dolittle is delighted beyond belief, and Santa’s cash on hand went toward violin lessons for Rainbow. So finally, on Monday, it was like Christmas got tied up with a nice little bow.
Are you still with me? How was YOUR holiday?